Houston, we Have a Pandemic: Technical Difficulties, Distractions and Online Student Engagement


  • Dimitra Kostaki Deree, the American College of Greece
  • Irene Karayianni Deree college, the American college of Greece


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented and sudden changes to various facets of daily life, including a massive shift to remote education. College students rely on technology to attend class and interact with instructors and peers, while possibly facing technical and situational difficulties at home. Considering the unprecedented situation, the purpose of the present study was to extend online student engagement literature during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey sample consisted of 78 undergraduate students, recruited online. Participants completed scales on online student engagement, technical difficulties, home distractions and computer self-efficacy, as well as two exploratory open-ended questions on their attitudes towards online classes. Student engagement was negatively correlated with both technical difficulties and home distractions, while computer self-efficacy mediated the relationship between student engagement and technical difficulties. Students reported that what they enjoyed most in e-classes were the exact aspects that interfered with their learning and engagement. The most commonly reported concern in online courses was impaired concentration and technical issues, while flexibility, time efficiency and home comfort were the most prevalent aspects that students enjoyed. The study aims to shed light on engagement in remote learning, as online classes may eventually become an integral component of higher education after the return to a so-called new normality.


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Author Biography

Dimitra Kostaki, Deree, the American College of Greece

Greek-American undergraduate psychology student, currently in the 3rd year of study at Deree, the American College of Greece


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How to Cite

Kostaki, D., & Karayianni, I. (2022). Houston, we Have a Pandemic: Technical Difficulties, Distractions and Online Student Engagement . Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 4(2), 105–127. Retrieved from https://sehej.raise-network.com/raise/article/view/1063